Link Collection

June 30, 2009

LOTD for June 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:23 pm

Terrorists and insurgent groups around the world are apparently using smuggled cigarettes to finance their organizations and their missions. It costs just $100k to produce 10 million cigarettes in China, and they can get $2 million for the cigarettes in the US. It only cost al Qaeda about $500k to do 9/11, so huge cigarette profit margins are attractive to terrorist and militant groups:

The first case of swine flu that is resistant to Tamiflu was discovered in Denmark, but competing drug Relenza was able to kill off the swine flu. Since Tamiflu seems to be the US’s plan to deal with the swine flu, the possibility of a Tamiflu-resistant version of the swine flu could be very important:

Advanced ground penetrating radar will allow US border patrol to spot tunnels being dug by criminals to smuggle things into the US. 60% of all the tunnels discovered by border patrol agents have been discovered in the last 3 years…they are finding a new tunnel every month!

Israeli scientists have discovered a way to discover weapons-smuggling tunnels by using simple fiberoptic cables. The tunnels are crucial to Hamas’ war efforts because that is how they get their long-range rockets and antiarmor weapons into Gaza from tunnels under the border with Egypt:

Two US senators are trying to get a boycott of companies that sell equipment to help the Iranian government spy on its citizens:

NASA has selected a team led by Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) to develop enhancements to the system-wide modeling and simulation capability in the Airspace Concepts Evaluation System, or ACES.
Raytheon won a $29.1 million contract from NASA to develop next-generation modeling and simulation capability for the Airspace Concepts Evaluation System:

Motorola is targeting its Android-based phones for the low- to mid-range market, which could be a great niche for an Android smartphone. Making an Android-based smartphone for $299 *before* carrier subsidies could allow for the phone to really undercut smartphone prices from competitors:

I think that it is great that TerreStar Networks’ satellite is so powerful that they can use regular cell phone form factors instead of the large antennas traditionally found on satellite phones. By the end of this year AT&T customers should be able to buy an HSPA phone that also uses the TerreStar satellite when out of range of AT&Ts network:

Comcast will be the first major cable TV company to launch mobile WiMAX service. I would LOVE for this service to be available to me–for $49.99 per month (less than what I pay right now for my cable modem), they give 12 Mbps home internet access (faster than I get!), a free WiFi router, and mobile WiMAX service that provides up to 4 Mbps download speed. Portland is the first test market for the service:
Press release

Nearly half of households with Dish Network have DVRs, and Dish will soon have the ability to send addressable ads to those DVRs…in other words, different subscribers would see different TV commercials, with the commercials customized for them. This would bring in more advertising revenue and possibly even make the commercials more useful for viewers:

TV advertisers are really worried about people (like me!) that skip all the commercials with their DVR…but they haven’t figured out a way to do to reduce that impact on their advertising revenue:

Series of studies found that people will keep their broadband internet access even during a major recession, and they will cut back on travel, entertainment and eating out rather than cut back on high speed internet access:

Burglars in Florida stole from 9 cars and then asked a Sheriff deputy for a ride home at 4am…all 9 cars were left unlocked overnight:

Classic story of an IT department being called to fix a printer that wouldn’t print:

Couple got into an argument and started throwing Cheetos at each other…and BOTH of them are now charged with domestic assault:

The Hawaii State Legislature passed a law that will collect sales tax on Amazon purchases shipped to Hawaii as of tomorrow…so, today Amazon dumped all of its Hawaii-based affiliates:
Article link


June 29, 2009

LOTD for June 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 7:40 pm

The US expects an uptick in violence as it withdraws troops from Iraqi cities by tomorrow:

Discovery channel has a special about putting a dome over Houston if environmental problems worsen:

Next-generation bullet proof vests will combine cement with recycled carbon fiber materials:

Minnesota company is recalling *two years* of food products because of possible salmonella contamination:

Study found that dolphin flippers behave like modern engineered aerofoils:
Article link

Land Warrior-equipped brigade is headed to Afghanistan:

Raytheon demonstrated a low-drag extremely small antenna solution for aircraft:

Airmen helped compile the stupidest rules in the Air Force:

DARPA wants a 19-inch supercomputer:

The airport screening company that just went out of business plans to sell their sensitive customer data, but at least the sale will be restricted to a company authorized by the TSA:

UK startup says that beamforming (instead of using omni antennas) can increase the data rate of cellular base stations by up to 10x while cutting electricity consumption in half. I actually showed similar throughput increase results in simulations 7+ years ago, so it is great if this technology finally gets to the market:

One reason why Nokia was able to buy Nortel’s CDMA and LTE business for just $650 million is that the sale *excludes* much of Nortel’s key LTE IP. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a bankrupt company selling off its business units while excluding the key IP for those business units!

Nortel’s creditors filed objections to the CDMA/LTE sale to Nokia, saying that the bidding process rules may prevent competing bids:

Sprint never got the BlackBerry Storm and in order to get the BlackBerry Tour the same time as Verizon, Sprint apparently promised a certain volume of sales and promised a big advertising push for the Tour. If Sprint is forced to spend a lot of money to get consumers to want to get the BlackBerry Tour and consumers realize that Verizon also has the phone, couldn’t that hurt Sprint?

Telecom firms back the agreement to standardize phone chargers for all data-enabled cell phones sold in Europe…it would be great to be able to use the same phone charger when we get a new phone:

If the economy forces families to cut back on spending, Americans will first cut back on their mobile data plans:

The “Buy American” requirement has been removed from the broadband stimulus funding:

It is great that a number of businesses are offering aid to those who lose their jobs in this economy. Kudos to Walgreens for offering free health-care services to families that suffer a job loss and have no health insurance:

Article questioning whether or not sealed-in batteries (the MacBook Pro is the first mainstream laptops to prevent battery swapping) is a good idea;

June 28, 2009

LOTD for June 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 8:27 pm

Michael Jackson couldn’t control his spending and was an estimated $500 million in debt when he died. This article examines that the increased sales after his death could pay off his debt:

Firefox 3.5 is going to be officially released on June 30–I’m really looking forward to downloading it then:

Ruth Madoff forfeited her claim to $80 million in assets and is left with $2.5 million under her deal with the US Attorney’s office. On Friday her husband forfeited rights to assets totaling $170 billion, and all of their properties will be sold by the government:

Pigeons apparently recognize beauty in art the same way that humans do, distinguishing ‘good’ or ‘beautiful’ paintings the way an ordinary human being can:

Severe drought in India (rain deficit 85% below normal!) could result in a huge catastrophe. 600 million people in India (55% of their country!) make a living off the land, and 65% of their farmers rely upon rainwater:

Beef recalled by a Colorado meat company due to an E.coli problem:

Apple banned the “Hottest Girls” App for the iPhone:

Licensed brothels in Nevada have been really hurt hard by the economy. They may be the only business segment in the US that is lobbying to pay *more* tax:

June 27, 2009

LOTD for June 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 10:10 am

Article examining why there were 3 million unfilled jobs in the US while 13 million are unemployed. Part of this seems to be due to a mismatch of skills, since the sectors with the most openings (education and health care) are very different from the ones that are losing the most workers, manufacturing and construction:

A big part of the problem is that a lot of people have lost jobs in the construction, finance, and retail areas and they lack the skills and training for jobs in the growing fields of education, accounting, health care, and government. The housing bust has left the unemployed frozen in place–they can’t move to get work because they can’t sell their homes:

In March it was forecast that the world airline industry would lose $4.7 billion this year, but in June they had to revise that to a prediction of $9 billion lost this year:

The recession has actually been good for ice cream sales, as Americans can afford to indulge with it. Häagen-Dazs is even looking to expand with 6 more franchises in Northern California in the next 18 months, taking advantage of increasing sales and cheaper real estate options. I never realized that ice cream first took off during the Great Depression:

Another study that found that it is really bad for kids to watch TV, but this study expands that to find that just having TV in the background (some houses have the TV on all day whether or not anyone is watching) is bad for young children. On average, each additional hour of television exposure was also associated with a decrease of 770 words the child heard from an adult during the recording session:

Study found that we lose half of our close friends every 7 years, replacing them with other friends:

Study that found that blushing makes people endearing and improves the impression people can get of the blushing person:

Study urges a reduced weight gain during pregnancy for overweight women–women who are very overweight (BMI over 30) should limit their weight gain during pregnancy to between 11 and 20 pounds, while underweight women (BMI under 18.5) should gain 28 to 30 pounds:
Article link

June 26, 2009

LOTD for June 26

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 11:36 pm

This 16-year-old girl stopped aging when she was 4-year-old, with doctors unable to figure out why. She is the size of an infant with a mental capacity of a toddler, looking like a 6-month-old child. Researchers are trying to figure out why her body is immune to the growth hormone:

Iranian cleric, a member of the powerful Assembly of Experts, say that tho leaders of the protests to the Iranian election results should be executed:

The Manas Air Base (a key supply hub for Afghanistan) will still be open for US troops to use…the Kyrgyzstan government changed their mind after getting the $$$ they were looking for:

Classified information about big defense contracts between the Pentagon, DHS, and Northrop was obtained by a group of Canadian journalism student–they bought it for $40 in Ghana. Northrop asked for the hard drive but the students refused:

The Russians launched an Iranian spy satellite in 2005, but they do not appear willing to launch another despite Iran’s interest in another spy satellite launch:

US Customs and Border Patrol is testing Predator UAVs to monitor the US/Canada border:

The Allies tested unique weapons during World War II, including a cloud of sewing needles tipped with mustard gas that would poison and kill enemy troops without damaging buildings or equipment:

Invisibility cloak could hide buildings from earthquakes–the “earthquake cloak” would enable the buildings to avoid the effects of a major earthquake:

IBM researcher solved a longstanding cryptography problem, finding a method that allows for the processing of encrypted data without needed to know its content:

Remote-controlled glider hit 392 mph!

Tiny virus-sized capsules can deliver drugs and other materials with almost 100% efficiency to targeted cells in the bloodstream:

Nanoparticle can penetrate a bacterial-produced film on prosthetics and kill the bacteria, eliminating a bacterial infection on an implanted prosthetic device:

Researchers have found that they can get a stream of sand to behave like water:

IBM has allocated $100 million for research in mobile communications:

Analyst says that Nokia will sell an Android-based netbook in 2010, selling it through cellular carriers:

Analyst doesn’t think that it is a great idea that Microsoft is trying to charge $120 for XP users to upgrade to Windows 7…and that is per computer, a big disincentive for home users with multiple XP computers:

This columnist makes fun of Microsoft’s pricing for Windows 7:
Article link

June 25, 2009

LOTD for June 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:04 pm

Update about how Saturn’s moon Enceladus may have an ocean beneath its icy surface, which means that it could have life now or in the past:

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted today to fully fund 7 F-22 Raptors for $1.75 billion and the House Armed Services Committee voted last week to fun 12 F-22 Raptors. This is despite the Pentagon and White House making clear that they do not want or need any more F-22s:

The White House said that it would veto more F-22 funding, if Congress tries to add funding over Pentagon objections:

Sodoku could revolutionize the world of genome sequencing and the field of medical genetics:
Article link

Interesting study found that disease prevention often costs more than it saves. Vaccinations for children, helping people quit smoking, and fluoride in the water are among the limited preventative steps that save money. However, disease prevention often improves the length and quality of life:

Windows is installing “surprise updates” without permission from users:
Article link

NPD found that more people who buy netbooks are dissatisfied than people who buy laptops. It appears that many people are buying a netbook as a laptop replacement–the mobility provided by netbooks is wasted when 60% of netbook users never take it out of their home:

AT&T signed a deal with satellite/cellular startup that will provide true nationwide coverage:
Article link

Boingo seems to have been awarded an extremely broad patent covering how clients on a mobile computing device accesses and logs onto carrier networks using wireless APs:,1000000567,10013038o-2000331761b,00.htm

17-year-old was upset about his cell phone bill, so he set fire to the business he owed money to:

Wallabies have been getting high on Tasmania’s legally grown opium poppy fields, hopping around in circles and trampling the crops:

June 24, 2009

LOTD for June 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 6:55 pm

Article analyzing why the UAV strike killed so many people yesterday. It appears that the Taliban commander targeted by the attack wasn’t there while some innocent villagers were:

Iran has successfully tested a radar-evading UAV:

Israel has been practicing their techniques for having their manned fighters shoot down UAVs. An F-16 shot down an Iranian-made Ababil air vehicle operated by Hezbollah during fighting on the Israeli-Lebanese border in 2006:

The parallel structure and computing power of graphics processing units in video game systems may be more efficient than a general-purposed CPU for a range of calculations important to defense applications:

Experiments at Sandia unexpectedly found that salt blocks can actually stretch under certain conditions:

US company has shipped the first batch (100,000 doses) of swine flu vaccine. They use caterpillar cells instead of needing a seed strain, which makes their vaccine creation process faster:

Article about the decline of MySpace, which is laying off 30% of its US workforce and 66% of its non-US workforce:

HP and Alcatel-Lucent have announced a 10 year alliance to transform communication networks into converged, next-generation infrastructures:

Sprint’s CFO says that the new iPhone hasn’t impacted Pre sales:

Verizon’s CEO seems to have chosen his words very carefully when he was asked about whether or not Verizon will get the iPhone or Android-based phones in the near future:

For Lori: The Oscars are doubling their best-picture nominees to 10:
Article link

For Lori: When the Jon & Kate Plus 8 shows resume on August 3, they will add Jon’s girlfriend to the show…I’m sure that will be very healthy for their young children to have everyone around them see their father’s girlfriend on TV:

June 23, 2009

LOTD for June 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 9:54 pm

Despite suggesting last month that the video would be released, US Central Command apparently will not be releasing the video of the air strikes in western Afghanistan where airbursting munitions were used when civilians were in the vicinity:

US air strike today reportedly killed 60+ people at a funeral in Pakistan:

A battle is brewing between the Army and Stars and Stripes, after the Army barred a Stars and Stripes reporter from being embedded in Mosul:

The Navy wants robots to eventually replace its mine hunting dolphins, but a Navy spokesperson says that it is doubtful that any man-made object will be as good as the dolphins:

The Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wants the Marines to stop building Ospreys, but the Marines are pushing back hard on that issue:

Israel does not plan to sell Russia its most advanced UAVs after a Russian official revealed that the 12 UAVs Russia recently purchased would be used for study so that Russia could build their own UAVs:

An inventory at the US Army Medical Research Institute found that 9,220 samples left out of the database of items, including the Ebola virus, anthrax bacteria and botulinum toxin, most of them forgotten inside of freezer drawers. Unfortunately, the inaccuracy of the database means that there is no way for officials to know if anything is missing:

The world’s deepest underground science laboratory is being built 4,850 feet below the ground in an old gold mine in South Dakota:
Article link

A mistake made by a researcher led to a discovery that a toxic molecule known to damage cells and cause disease may play a pivotal role in bird migration. The toxicity may also explain why humans do not have the same ability as birds to see Earth’s electromagnetic field:

US scientists are developing a “synthetic tree” that can collect carbon about 1,000 times faster than a real tree–for every 1,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide processed, the synthetic tree would absorb 800 kg:

A software program has been developed to reduce jet lag:
Article link

The Registered Traveler program (250,000 people pay $200 per year to speed through airport security) has ended because the company running it has gone out of business:

Verizon and T-Mobile will get Android-based phones from Motorola later this year:

Nearly 40% of smartphone owners who don’t own iPhones plan to switch to AT&T to get an iPhone, and 80% of current iPhone owners will get an iPhone again:

Nokia will keep the Nortel worker’s jobs in Canada. Nortel does get to avoid Nortel’s pension obligations and other debts:

Nokia is confident that they will be able to win Verizon contracts with their Nortel technology–Nortel might have won the last huge equipment contract Verizon awarded if their finances had been solid:

Intel has apparently beaten out TI to provide processors for Nokia’s new line of mobile devices:

Feature article on Qualcomm’s 4×4 MIMO 802.11n chips that can provide up to 600 Mbps throughput:

June 22, 2009

LOTD for June 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 5:37 pm

The President of Egypt makes is clear that the threat from Iran is the reason for the arms sale increase in Middle East countries:

The Air Force is looking to get smaller UAVs that are more discriminating about their attacks, to minimize civilian casualties in places like Pakistan/Afghanistan:

Russia bought 12 UAVs for $53 million from Israel:

Georgia Tech is working on getting military robots to follow the rules of war, especially important if UAVs will shoot at targets without human control:

Using the seeds from a weed could cut jet fuel’s carbon emissions by 84%! This unique properties of the camelina oil could make this a far superior alternative to standard biofuels:
Article link

Georgia researchers made a breakthrough for biological fuel cells that could power pacemakers, prosthetic limbs,and other small devices.:
Article link

Reported swine flu cases jumped to 52,000 people with 231 dead, with the US having 21,449 cases with 87 deaths:

Jury sided with the RIAA and fined a woman nearly $2 million for downloaded 24 songs with her Kazaa account…about $80,000 per song!

Nortel is selling its CDMA and LTE assets to Nokia Siemens for $650 million. Nortel is the second largest provider of CDMA equipment in the world and has a promising LTE business–Nokia has no CDMA networks business and is getting a bargain on the price:

Apple sold over 1 million iPhone 3G S phones over the weekend:

Apple is giving $30 iTunes credits to people who buy iPhone 3G S phones in the first few days due to delays with the activation process:

T-Mobile will have their second Android-based phone in August, touting how the phone can be personalized by users:

Woman was seriously injured when they tried to put a sex toy on a saw…I don’t think that incorporating a saw in a sex act is ever a good idea…

I am really sad to find that 1/3 of US teenagers will use their cell phones to cheat in school and half of them use the Internet to cheat. That is a BAD sign for the future competitiveness of our country…

LOTD for June 21

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 2:33 am

There are currently 700 million cars on the road today and the IMF estimates that in the year 2050 there will be about 3 billion cars in the world, with China alone having about as many cars on the road as the entire world has today:

Report states that more than $13 billion in spending in Iraq and Afghanistan may have been wasted. Wasteful examples include spending millions on a dining facility that wasn’t needed once the US began withdrawing troops from Iraq and accepting a multimillion-dollar construction project despite the fixtures being broken, bathrooms not working, and ceilings unfinished:

Tennessee man has 21 children with 11 different women…and he’s just 29 years old! He’s had children with 4 different women in a year twice! With a minimum wage job and 21 kids, his child support payments have been minimal:–hes-29.html

Minneapolis man was accidentally boarded up in his foreclosed home!

Virginia clinic is offering free Botox injections to the unemployed:

Researchers found that giant jellyfish are taking over parts of the world’s oceans due to overfishing and other human activities, and they could dominate the oceans if things do not change:

California judge dismissed a lawsuit where a woman sued because she said that she had purchased “Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries” because she believed it contained real fruit:

European airline company Ryanair is going to charge $1.60 each time a passenger wants to use the bathroom. They are also going from 3 bathrooms to just 1, replacing the two bathrooms with more seats for passengers:

11-year-old graduated college with a degree in Astrophysics and he’s also won numerous national martial arts championships:

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